Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Renovated Breeding Habitat use in Wild & Captive-bred Populations of an Endangered Desert Pupfish


Layla Al-Shaer, Andrew Bloch, Timothy Paciorek, Zachary Carroll, Andrew Black and Murray Itzkowitz

The Leon Springs pupfish (Cyprinodon bovinus) is an endangered fish endemic to Diamond Y Spring in west Texas. To mitigate the negative effects of habitat loss, Diamond Y Spring was renovated to maintain and provide additional breeding habitat. Monsanto Pool, an extant location where C. bovinus have become extirpated, was also renovated in order to increase breeding habitat. After Monsanto Pool was renovated, captive-bred C. bovinus were reintroduced to this location to both increase the range of this species, and evaluate whether captive release is a viable option. These conservation efforts have led to the unique opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of habitat renovations in wild and captivebred populations of C. bovinus, occurring in natural and renovated breeding habitats at two separate locations. The overarching question asked was, is it better to renovate an unoccupied site and introduce captive-bred individuals, or to expand an occupied site that would allow the current population to grow? Habitat use and spawning in three different breeding areas were compared, and specific ecological factors were measured at each site in order to determine if any coincided with observed C. bovinus location preferences. Wild C. bovinus in the natural breeding habitat spawned more, had more spawns per individual male, and had greater territorial stability than wild or captive-bred C. bovinus in renovated habitats. Differences in social system stability and reproductive success between sites may be due to variation in their ability to adapt to a renovated site as well as the ecological makeup of the habitat.


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